Sep 19, 2023 - Sports

Tampa Bay Rays squash speculation they might relocate to Nashville

ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - MARCH 30: A general view during a game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Detroit Tigers on Opening Day at Tropicana Field on March 30, 2023 in St Petersburg, Florida.

A general view during a Tampa Bay Rays game in March. Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Rays reportedly have a deal in place to build a new stadium, slamming the door on speculation the team could relocate to Nashville.

  • The news could, however, move Major League Baseball one step closer to expansion.

State of play: Whenever a MLB franchise has long-term uncertainty around its stadium, Nashville is regularly mentioned as a relocation possibility.

Why it matters: The Rays' deal for a 30,000-seat stadium in St. Petersburg seems to solve one of MLB's lingering ballpark problems. The A's are navigating a likely move to Las Vegas.

Zoom in: A local group called Music City Baseball wants to bring an expansion franchise to Nashville.

Yes, but: The election of Freddie O'Connell as Nashville's next mayor complicates the matter. Pro stadium deals often come with taxpayer funding, but O'Connell has expressed reservations about the city helping finance a ballpark.

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